oven baked salmon with garlic and lemon
30 minute meals, Dinner Recipes, Easy Dinners, Weeknight Meals

Lemon and Garlic Baked Salmon

This post may contain affiliate sales links. As an Amazon associate, we earn commission on qualifying purchases you make. Please see our privacy policy for full details.
Share this

This oven baked salmon recipe comes together in under 30 minutes, making it a perfect addition to your weeknight meals! It’s packed with flavor, doesn’t take many ingredients, and is super easy to make.

This salmon is my go-to recipe for days that I’m short on time but need a flavorful, healthy meal. The sauce uses 4 simple ingredients, and you’ll also need some garlic cloves, sugar (optional), and the star of the show: salmon!

Subscribe to Eats Delightful!

Sign up now to get our favorite recipe of the month delivered straight to your inbox.

    We respect your privacy. You can unsubscribe at any time.

    For the salmon, you can use skin on or off. I personally prefer skin off because it doesn’t really crisp up in the oven, so it’s not too enjoyable to eat. You can also make one large salmon (about 2 pounds) for this recipe. Bake time may take an extra 5 minutes or so since there won’t be air circulating in between like it does with the fillets.

    For the salmon, I prefer to cut small holes on each salmon fillet and fill each hole with half a garlic clove. I love this method more than adding chopped or minced garlic for 2 main reasons.

    The first (and most important) reason is that small pieces of garlic tend to burn very early on in the bake time, before the salmon has a chance to cook. Not only does this look unappealing, but the flavor of burnt garlic is a huge disappointment.

    Larger garlic will take longer to cook, and by inserting it into the salmon, it helps insulate the garlic even more to avoid burning.

    The second reason I like to add larger pieces of garlic is largely for flavor. Large pieces of garlic do a great job at imparting a garlic-y flavor to the salmon as it cooks. AND once the salmon is cooked, you have little pieces of roasted garlic that you can enjoy with the salmon! Win-win.

    If you see in the pictures, I also added a small slice of lemon to each salmon. That was 90% because it looks pretty, but roasted lemon is also outrageously delicious! It can be quite sour though, so a little does go a long way. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t steal all of the lemon slices off each fillet …

    A final note I want to make on this salmon is about the addition of granulated sugar. If you’ve already read the recipe, you’ll notice I include a 1/4 teaspoon of sugar on top of each fillet in the end before baking. This is 100% optional, but I really recommend giving it a try!

    Adding sugar to your salmon won’t make it taste overly sweet (but depending on your taste, you may need a pinch more salt once the salmon is cooked). What the sugar does do is it caramelizes while the salmon bakes and helps the salmon develop a nice deep golden color on top with an almost nutty, toasty flavor.

    Serve the salmon with some plain rice, veggies, and/or salad! You’ll also have a nice golden brown layer on the bottom of your baking sheet after the baking process. Add a splash of boiled water to it and you have yourself an amazing sauce that you can use to coat your rice, veggies, or some bread with.

    Watch: How to make baked salmon:


    Lemon & Garlic Baked Salmon Recipe

    This oven baked salmon recipe comes together in under 30 minutes, making it a perfect addition to your weeknight meals! It’s packed with flavor, doesn’t take many ingredients, and is super easy to make.
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Bake Time 15 minutes
    Servings 4 people

    Ingredients

    • 1/4 cup lemon juice, about 1 lemon
    • 1/4 cup cold water
    • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 4 fresh salmon fillets, about 1/2 pound each
    • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced in half
    • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar (optional)

    Instructions

    Position a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 400°F.

    • In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, water, olive oil, and salt. Whisk together to dissolve the salt and mix everything together.
    • Arrange salmon fillets in a 9×15 inch baking dish. Cut 2 shallow holes on the surface of each fillet (about 1 inch from each end). Insert half a garlic clove in each hole on the fillets.
    • Pour the lemon juice mixture on top of the fillets. Top each fillet with about 1/4 teaspoon of granulated sugar (helps with browning and caramelization). If desired, add lemon slices on top of each fillet.
    • Bake the salmon in your preheated 400°F oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the salmon is golden on top and cooked through. If needed, broil for about 1 to 2 minutes on low at the end of the cooking time, or until golden brown on top.

    Enjoy!



    Share this

    3 thoughts on “Lemon and Garlic Baked Salmon

    1. This is so crazy, but I’ve never even thought about baking salmon! I have an order coming in over the weekend, so I can’t wait to try this. The texture looks so gorgeous.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Recipe Rating




    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.